Friday, December 14, 2012

787 testing picking up as deliveries continue

787 flight activity picked up this week as the weather cleared long enough for Boeing to send up another 787 on its 1st flight.  Yesterday There were 4 787 flights including the B-1 flight for ZA285 (LN 45, N27901) for United Airlines.  There was supposed to be another test flight of ZA238 (LN 54, VT-ANJ but it didn't occur.

As Boeing aggressively ramps up flight tests this month deliveries are also starting to take shape. This evening, Boeing delivered United's 4th 787 (ZA289, LN 55, N45905).  According to a press report by Bloomberg, Qatar is expecting to take delivery of two 787s on Dec.19th. I also expect Boeing to further deliveries of 787s to ANA (2), United (1)and JAL (1).  Wild card deliveries can be made to Air India (2) and possibly China Southern (that airplane still has to make its 2nd test flight).

Now all this continues despite the recent spat of glitches that the 787 has experienced.  The most notable one is the issue with the starter generator supplied by Hamilton Sundstrand.  A second 787, ZA460 (LN 57, A7-BCA) experienced the fault and landed while being delivered to Doha from Victorville.  The generator is being swapped out and the aircraft should enter service soon but the issue is troubling.  Akbar (U-Turn Al) Al-Baker again vociferously complained about the teething problems of the 787 to the media (after the first revenue flight of Qatar's 787 to London) but Qatar is still planning to take delivery of 2 787 next week.  Still Boeing along with Hamilton Sundstrand and the FAA are looking into the issues.  Jon Ostrower of the Wall Street Journal reported that 2 other 787s are affected...one other delivered 787 that belongs to United and an undelivered 787 for Qatar (one of the two that are to be delivered next week). The FAA said the issue doesn't appear to be safety of flight issue and aside for Air India reporting unspecified "electrical problems" no other 787 customers have come forth with electrical probles as of late.  Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times also has an article on the 787 electrical issue.

On the production front, expect things to slow down as Boeing enters its traditional Holiday break.  One aircraft (ZA513, LN 97, JA819A) for ANA will be loaded into the final assembly line and that will be the last until after New Year.

As of today, Boeing has delviered a total of 40 787 to 8 customers worldwide.  They've delivered 37 in 2012 and have to potential to deliver anywhere from 6 to 8 more airplanes this month.








14 comments:

Cedarglen said...

While we don't yet know the problem with those generators, at least publically, it is troublesome. No one has yet suggested that it a Safety of Flight issue, especially with FIVE more aboard, any two of which can carry the load, the pilots are choosing to divert, even on non-rev ferry flights. Boeing and S-H have got to get this figured out and quickly. Air India, the Chinese and U-Turn Al don't need any more excuses to drag their heels. The airplanes are safe, Boeing and their suppliers stand behind them and yes, Boeing's bottom line needs more revenue - from new deliveries of those completed/re-worked 787 airframes. Would Boeing deliver an airframe with a known Safety of Flight issue? Hell no! They never have and they are not about to do it now. If they sign-off on the B-1 or B-2 flights, that airplane is safe to fly in revenue service. Period. Do I need to explain why?

Randy Austin said...

Based on the profiles flow it looks like QTR ZA462(62)that flew a C-1 today was probably the one that required the electrical work. It diverted on its B-1.

Brent said...

I read that the generators are not even the problem, it is a panel the detects faults from the generators. So basically Boeing got a couple of bad components in a batch from an OEM. An airplane is made up of thousands of such components - a bad batch happens sometimes. This can happen at anytime, and does to all manufacturers. It's just when your program is more than 3 years behind and your customers are dealing with a different world from when they made their multi-billion dollar orders, the little issues get magnified.

daedaelous said...

Uresh you said we can expect production to slow over the holidays. Can we expect the same for work on the early built planes or will they continue to rework those at the regular rate? Thanks.

Uresh said...

Slow down due to the holidays not due to anything systemic so yes they will also slow down work due to the Holidays at the EMC. It's only for a week.

Andrew Munsell said...

Looks great, now running with 6 Ready for Delivery, 6 in Pre-Delivery Flight tests, and 3 in Pre-Flight Prep

Andrew Munsell said...

Another 2 ready for delivery

Uresh said...

It appears so

Andrew Munsell said...

If just 6 of those deliver before the end of the year Boeing will be ahead of schedule. Lets hope at least one of United's gets to Ready for delivery by Christmas.

Andrew Munsell said...

Dear Boeing,
you are creeping me out. I make a prediction and then within hours it happens.
Sincerely,
Andrew

Should I make more prediction?

Randy Austin said...

Looks like 8 will be easy before Xmas assuming no big issues. 5 have had C-2's, 1 a C-1 and 2 with C flights to go. ANA(2), JAL (1), LOT (1), QTR (2), UAL (2). Any B-1's this week could make it also if they can get the customer in over the holidays, but all the resources have probably gone to these 8 airplanes so we probably won't see many if any B-1's the rest of the month.

nskiwi said...

I wonder if Boeing reminds Air India how many 787's they have ready for them or each time one is they remind them of the others that are still waiting and how long they have been waiting for as well haha,

TurtleLuv said...

Well apparently at least somebody at Boeing still believes Air India is going to pick up their jets some day. Line 72 is scheduled for a possible first flight today.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/BOE241

Capt747ret said...

We have seen 4 of the AI frames flown in the past week or so. AI has 3 frames that are ready for delivery and now B is flying LN72 while moving another into EMC. So the Big question is: What's up?

My guess is that B has worked a deal to take AI’s 777-200’s in on trade for the 787’s. B and the USA need to move the AI backlog. With the Em Ex Bank working with all parties I can see this.

With all the AI frames being flown and more in the production line, something needs to give. This must be a huge embarrassment and hit to revenue for GOI, AI and B.